How Do I Know If There Really Is Another Offer?

For homebuyers, bidding wars can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. However, the uncertainty of whether there are genuine competing offers or if phantom offers are in play can add a new layer of anxiety. In this blog post, we will explore what phantom offers are, how they can impact your buying experience, and provide you with strategies to protect yourself in bidding wars.

Buying a Home / Laney Farrugia

How Do I Know If There Really Is Another Offer?

Understanding Phantom Offers:

Phantom offers, as they are commonly known, are fictitious or fabricated competing offers presented to buyers during bidding wars. Their purpose is to create a sense of urgency, induce higher bids, and potentially drive up the property’s price. While phantom offers are unethical and illegal, they can still occur in the real estate market.

The Impact of Phantom Offers:

The presence of phantom offers can significantly affect your decision-making process and potentially cost you more money. The fear of losing out on your dream home to a non-existent competitor may push you to increase your offer or remove important conditions, compromising your financial well-being and peace of mind.

New Procedures to Address Bidding Wars:

To address the concerns surrounding bidding wars and phantom offers, real estate regulatory bodies have implemented new procedures. For example, in some regions, brokerages are now required to keep copies of all offers, including counter-offers. Additionally, buyers have the ability to verify the existence of other offers through these regulatory bodies, providing a certain level of transparency.

Protecting Yourself from Phantom Offers:

To safeguard yourself in bidding wars, consider the following strategies:


Bidding wars can be daunting, especially when phantom offers come into play. However, by staying informed, working with trusted professionals, and taking proactive steps, you can navigate the bidding process with greater confidence. Remember to set a budget and prioritize your financial well-being throughout the process. With the right strategies in place, you can protect yourself from the uncertainty of phantom offers and increase your chances of securing your dream home on fair terms.